It does seem unethical to generate sales leads by leaving out some sort of bait for prospects to bite. But believe it or not, is that not how plenty of marketing strategies operate? Like them, you use something attractive that catch prospects interest and then you move in to qualify them as sales leads. It is kind of like how advertisers use appealing contests and promos to get more information on their customers.
But Again, Do You Need To Lure Sales Leads Like That?
The question is actually not as black and white as ether marketing experts or consumer advocates say it is. Businesses like yours need sales leads (or in the case of your advertising clients: customer information) as a means of being able to discover new opportunities to make sales as well as improvements.
On the other hand, nobody likes being tricked into giving something in exchange for bait. This applies to consumers as well as the prospects you want qualified into sales leads.
Then again, perhaps it would be better to first review what sort of ‘bait’ is being used before judging the concept as appropriate:
- Freebies – Whether it is for software leads or for advertising itself, freebies are the most commonly used form of marketing ‘bait’. For an advertising company, you may give away something like a downloadable guide to what makes a good ad tick. For consumer products, it may be something that goes with the main product like a free add-on or complimentary knick-knack.
- Contests – In regular advertising, you usually this in raffle promos that require customers submit entries with contact information. This alone seems enough but what about for business sales leads? Actually, there can be something similar in the form of a more targeted B2B prize (like a discount or the addition of another type of advertising service). However, this really emphasizes the importance of targeting sales leads.
- Surveys – You also have the most direct strategy of a survey campaign. Here the ‘bait’ is actually the opportunity for customers to voice their concerns. Advertising groups can also run this to determine what consumers want to see. They can also do the same with B2B prospects so they will know what would it take for them to be qualified among your software sales leads.
Now as to whether any of these are appropriate, there is but one deciding factor: Value. Perhaps the real answer is whether or not to treat something as ‘bait’ or as something that possesses great value to customers. Do sales leads need ‘bait’ or do they need something of value? See when something has value, it naturally means it can be something to exchange with provided that it is worth it.
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To summarize, it seems that the problem is not really the idea of using something to lure prospects and making sales leads out of those who bite. More likely, it is about facing the fact that prospects are not like fish or beasts who lack the intelligence to scrutinize what they are being lured with. Should it have value though, then your B2B lead generation campaign should not hesitate to use this ‘bait’ as a means of getting your much needed sales leads.